Kids that grew up in the 80s remember this special pixel look quite fondly! 8bit band YMCK is entirely devoted to it... From YMCK's MySpace site.

YMCK: Aesthetics For The 8bit Generation

You won’t be able to resist YMCK’s sugary sweetness for long – the 8bit tunes with fluffy jazz pop flavour and a distinctive pixelated aesthetic by this Japanese band consisting of Midori Kurihara, Takeshi Yokemura and Tomoyuki Nakamura will give you a more than a cosy feeling of 80′s nostalgia. Too bad we missed them at the annual Famicom Mode convention party in January! However, with their third album Family Genesis out, YMCK’s Takeshi talks to PingMag about his fond love for retro games (and a lot more…)

Written by Vicente Montelongo and Verena

Let us introduce: Takeshi, Midori and Tomoyuki of YMCK. From YMCK’s MySpace site.

First of all, how did YMCK come to exist five years ago?

There was no plan in the beginning. A few years ago, Tomoyuki and I were both support members of one of my friends’ band. The band often organised their live performance events by themselves, and at one of those events they suddenly had a free slot on the schedule. To fill the gap, we decided to form a band. Only, we thought that two guys on the stage wouldn’t look so good, so we invited Midori to join. That’s how YMCK started. Incidentally, our music style at that time wasn’t 8bit, I had that idea after we had been playing a few months.



Utter pixel mania! And what a sweet game aesthetic! YMCK’s clip for “Starlight” from their current album “Family Genesis.” From YMCK’s MySpace site.

Something very simple: Why is it YMCK and not RGB?

There is no reason! At first I was thinking of naming it after our names’ initials, but I couldn’t get it sound nice. The Y and M sequence is pretty neat though, so I wanted it to begin with that. But there are only few words starting with YM, and it almost automatically became YMCK.

Do you think the term chiptune – music synthesised in real time – accurately describes your sound?

Yes, it seems that any music with a focus on vintage video games and computer sounds is treated as chiptune.

THE keychain we ALL want to have! YCMK’s collaboration with capsule toy maker Yujin. From YMCK’s MySpace site.

Where do the sounds come from? Is there a main platform you are using?

My platform is Mac OSX. Almost all of my sounds are digitally processed with it.

Ahh, Apple, of course. How do you emulate the old sounds so perfectly?

The host software is Logic, version 6 or 7, and I run my Magical 8bit Plug on it. That’s enough to emulate the old sound. Unlike the real 8bit consoles, you can have as much polyphony with my plug-in as you want, so always have to be aware not to overdub it too much, so that the cheapness isn’t spoiled.

The YMCK world. From YMCK’s MySpace site.

The Magical 8bit Plug! Any further plans with it?

My biggest goal is to keep 8bit music alive for the future! Making music with the real 8bit consoles is a bit difficult because you have to use old, not very user-friendly software, or sometimes have to modify the hardware yourself, which often deters people from trying. My plug-in is making it easier for people to compose in 8bit and this hopefully will keep the style up-to-date for the future. However, I have to refine the program code to make it work better in a wider environment, but there isn’t enough time to do it…



“Go YMCK, Go!” by YMCK from the “Family Racing” album. From YMCK’s MySpace site.

Oh! We are waiting for this! Regarding your live gigs: How do you play live with your programmed music?

That’s top secret! You have to come to see our show yourself and feel the magic of the 8bit world!

Oh yes! By the way, what does 8bit mean to you – is it a concept, a dedication, or is there a whole lifestyle around it?

It is simply my favourite. The cuteness and cheapness of it has a unique fascination no other sounds have.

You mean, 8bit as part of your everyday life…

Since YMCK, I’ve been very aware of 8bit-like things, namely blip-blop sounds, pixel graphics and other topics about 8bit consoles.

YMCK in pixel action. From YMCK’s MySpace site.

Pixel graphics! Let’s get to the enchanting YMCK visuals: Your very elaborate and retro-looking visual style and video clips obviously reference a certain time in video game history. Did you actually use old code for generating the visuals?

No old codes! We use modern software that every graphic or video designer uses. Adobe Photoshop is the best software for drawing pixel art!

And who creates your visuals, all of you together?

YMCK has several visual areas, including video art, CD jacket artwork, goods design, costume design, etc. With video art, Tomoyuki is mainly in charge of making them, with the basic ideas being discussed by us three. The costumes are designed by Midori herself. With other things, we sometimes collaborate with designers.

The lovely YMCK keychain, another version, by Yujin. From YMCK’s MySpace site.

For example, we saw your lovely YMCK keychain by capsule toy maker Yujin – who had the idea for the project?

Yujin, since they liked our little toy we previously released: It was called dot-s which allowed us to make pixel art in physical space with small square pins and a matrix board. So, they wanted to do something like this.


The limited edition pixel toy package. Aww! By dot-s. From YMCK’s MySpace site.

We see. For that, you worked with designer Polygraph – is there more you did with him?

Also, the album jackets of “Family Racing” and “Family Genesis” are designed by him.

Is there more sweet merchandise coming, apart from the YMCK buttons?

We’re discussing that at the moment …

Oh, we have to get back to your latest album: What is the story of its title, Family Genesis? Is it about a game…?

Lots of people think that it’s from the name of SEGA’s 16bit console, but that wasn’t the idea. I use the word “genesis” in its original meaning, that is, the very beginning of things. In terms of history, the chiptune period has been around since the 1970s and chiptune musicians have persisted in using 8bit sounds despite the rapid improvement of computer technologies. Finally after over thirty years, it is been rediscovered as a new style of music and is about to attract people more and more. I was so impressed with the whole history, that I tried to express the story in an abstract way as “Chiptune Genesis” with this album.



Twee! Can it get better than Super Mario? “Panic Racer 005″ from YMCK’s second album “Family Racing.” From YMCK’s MySpace site.

Last year, you collaborated with Tokyo Pudding for a compilation called Tokyo Soundscapes, a very nice project where other hot artists such as De De Mouse were also involved. What Japanese musicians do you find interesting at the moment?

Recently I’m more into Southeast Asia – increasingly, there are a lot of chiptune musicians in Indonesia. Very interesting! You can find them easily with the MySpace search for “influenced by” YMCK and “in” Indonesia.

Oh, please! Apart from music, do you have a favourite game platform?

I like Famicom best – not too simple, not too complex in several aspects, a graphic and sound capability and an elaborateness of the games.

The buttons! For your whole 8bit makeover! From YMCK’s MySpace site.

And you have to tell us one of you favourite moments while playing!

Of course I like any kind of catharsis that the game designers prepared for us, like clearing stages, solving mysteries, etc. I like best drinking beer and playing randomly with my friends.

And the first game you ever played, what do you remember of it?

I don’t remember very well… However, the first machine for me was my father’s Fujitsu computer called FM-7, while most of my friends were playing Famicom at that time. It wasn’t a poor computer actually – but as it’s not a game console, the quality of sound and graphics are far behind Famicom. I felt a bit of envy every time I went to my friends’ houses…

Beloved pixel graphics! From YMCK’s MySpace site.

How about today’s video games?

I don’t know very much about today’s video games, but playing Wii with friends seems to be so much fun.

Oh my! We are still in total awe about your goods and music! Thank you, Takeshi of YMCK. We want to see you perform! And indeed:

YMCK Online Live Concert:

YMCK do a live show on the internet on the Japanese video sharing site Nico Nico Douga (you have to subscribe first.)
This Friday, March 28th, 2008.
From 8pm to 8.30pm (Tokyo time.)
Enjoy!

  • http://escuchajapones.com/ ale/pepino

    What if if Yokemura’s father had got an MSX2 instead or along with the MSX? Would YMCK be different?

  • http://www.randomizer.se Random

    Ale: Haha, most likely so :)
    Then we would have some sweet KSS FM-jazz instead.

    Nice article btw. Though, I’m getting really fed up with the term “8bit generation”…

  • http://autista.tv Davidas

    8 bit is the shit! very cool article!

  • http://www.mexist.com mexist

    ¡oye! ale y pepino, escuche tu programa, muy chistoso! me gusta…

  • http://zitronensaft.blogspot.com Julio

    Fresh stuff, as expected from PingMag :)

    PS: Ale, you’re everywhere o.O!

  • http://www.rombocket.com/toypop/ rye

    YMCK is charming. I didn’t know they had a new album, either! I would like to see them perform in the future.

  • http://kiboard.com/ arman

    pixelated art is really retro
    and kinda reminds me of lego

  • http://www.artidi.com Fernando

    Thank You for write this article! The 8bit generation marks us all!…

  • http://halcyonrealms.com blauereiter

    YMCK…quite a spiffy name indeed !

  • Ylva

    Do you remeber this? I loved theese!

    http://www.flipflopflyin.com/minipops/index.html

  • gizmogal

    one of my fave groups! thanks for the nice article, people need to hear these guys!

  • http://www.mingled.co.uk MiNGLED

    Ultra cute and love the animations but not sure I could listen to a whole album of it. Great in small doses.

  • Pingback: loka?blog » Blog Archive » ymck interview on pingmag

  • Anonymous

    I love this… band(?) I don’t really know what to call them.. but their music always makes me happy!! ^3^

  • http://www.myspace.com/stereohello Hellostereo

    wow. they’re listening to indonesian chiptune artists! i’m prouddddddd ^^

  • Pingback: Auranoisazzzz « Japan Onchi

  • onod32

    Terima Kasih (Thank You) for the appreciation of music artist in Indonesia…!

  • http://vendingcoach.blogspot.com mark@vendingcoach.blogspot.com

    These pics look like a throwback to the “Atari” era of graphics!

  • http://www.ciltrehberi.com/ Cilt Bakimi

    Using their vending machines almost certainly feels like your operating a gaming consoleq machine, or the old game and watch bay nintendo. To us westeners, it’s a technological breakthrough, to them, it’s just another revival toy of the awesome 80’s :)

  • http://www.musicdes.com Musicdes – Listen to Indian and Pakistani Music

    Terima Kasih (Thank You) for the appreciation of music artist in Indonesia…

  • http://www.ebrandwatches.com men watches online

    I hope you have a nice day! Very good article, well written and very thought out. I am looking forwarafasgd to reading more of your posts in the future.

  • http://www.iwantmyownpodcast.com podcast Jason Van Orden

    Extremely nice website. Excellent job!

  • http://buydoctor.info innovative healthcare

    Thanks for the information about this topic.

  • http://www.yourpersonaldevelopmentandsuccess.com/ personal development

    I like your way of thinking. Personal development and its many forms are really close to my heart. I also believe in getting different points of view on this subject to really broaden my thinking.

  • http://www.weightliftingroutines.com weightlifting routines

    Can I just get that wonder pill and call it a day.

  • http://viraladsystem.01viral.com Affiliate Marketing Reviews

    I saw something about your subject on T.V. last night, Thanks

  • http://www.improvingyou.net marketing

    information was enlightning good work

  • http://onlinedatingchicago.reiews.com online dating chicago

    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Maecenas viverra luctus commodo. Mauris semper, felis ut lacinia facilisis, arcu nulla mollis turpis, non laoreet nibh orci vel tellus. Vestibulum in.

  • http://buydoctor.info Financial Marketing Strategies

    I thought it was some boring old post,it really compensated for my time.

  • http://myweb-traffic.com Wal Mart Marketing Strategy

    This is the topic ive been looking for…thanks

  • http://www.heyycanli.com goruntulu sohbet

    buyrun siteye mukemmel

  • http://kandjfence.com Fence New Jersey

    8-bit! Yeah!

  • http://janisproductions.net Wedding Videography Philadelphia

    Can’t help but sometimes miss the good old days.

  • http://srahomeproducts.com Patios South Jersey

    Simple yet it works!

  • http://janisdigitalmedia.com Video Production Company Philadelphia

    Geez, today “pixelized” would be a crime!

  • http://myweb-traffic.com/blog/ united healthcare options

    Heres a Free Classified Ad for everyone

  • http://www.marketingstrategytemplate.info/ Marketing Strategy Template

    I’ve by no means seen it from that perspective. Luckily there are multiple approachs to do things. I actually enjoy business and finance so this post offers some attention-grabbing concepts for me to think about.

  • http://www.skinnyguymusclegain.com/ Skinny Guy Muscle Building

    I am a big fan of foreign exchange and finance so I find this topic very interesting. I always prefer to undertsand a new method of taking a look at it. Thanks for the information.

  • http://insurance.connybrookus.com Car Insurance

    Thanks for entertaining the thought.

  • http://www.e-flucures.com Flu Cures

    I like your website,looking fora healther body.

  • http://www.e-gtausedcars.com gta used cars

    I like your website,looking fora better car.

  • http://www.durgajobs.com Hyderabad

    Naukri.com – Register Now

  • http://www.allfailure.com All Failure

    I am really thankfull

  • http://www.ufo-disclosure.com UFO Disclosure

    Cool article! I’ve noticed that paranormal phenomena does seem to be increasing in prevalence, especially in the field of UFOs. interesting, thanks! ;)

  • http://www.jamondesalamanca.es Jamon Iberico

    Gran articulo. Somos seguidores vuestros desde hace tiempo y queriamos aprovechar este comentario para felicitaros por vuestro blog y por el trabajo que estais haciendo en los articulos…

  • http://aa735229.com a735229

    I’ve said that least 735229 times. The problem this like that is they are just too compilcated for the average bird, if you know what I mean

  • http://www.howtoteachachildtoread.org/ how to teach a child to read

    Hi! Would you mind if I share your blog with my twitter group? There’s a lot of folks that I think would really appreciate your content. Please let me know. Cheers

  • http://www.jaspis.se smycken online

    very good. thank you

  • http://www.happyseasons.gr xristougenniatika
  • http://www.veteranlawyers.net veterans lawyers

    I want to use some of the content material on my weblog. Naturally I’ll offer you a link on my web blog. Thanks for sharing.

  • http://www.blackfriday-nikond7000.us black friday nikon d7000

    Thanks for contributing this articles

  • http://www.blackfridaydealssamsungtv.com black friday samsung tv deals

    Great info I’ll be back soon.

  • http://adultfrinedfinder.co.cc/user.php?login=rEmmalineAyalax&view=history retirement invitations

    With havin so much content and articles do you ever run into any problems of plagorism or copyright infringement? My blog has a lot of completely unique content I’ve either written myself or outsourced but it seems a lot of it is popping it up all over the internet without my authorization. Do you know any methods to help stop content from being ripped off? I’d certainly appreciate it.

  • http://www.socalmamas.com/pg/blog/read/132479/klokker-nettbutikk-4-pleased-with-your-iwc-replica-watches-obtain Genny Boelke

    Zune and iPod: Most people compare the Zune to the Touch, but after seeing how slim and surprisingly small and light it is, I consider it to be a rather unique hybrid that combines qualities of both the Touch and the Nano. It’s very colorful and lovely OLED screen is slightly smaller than the touch screen, but the player itself feels quite a bit smaller and lighter. It weighs about 2/3 as much, and is noticeably smaller in width and height, while being just a hair thicker.

  • http://fotovirtual360.com.ar Foto Panoramica

    Realizamos recorridos virtuales comerciales y turísticos, visitas virtuales 360, foto 360 panorámica, fotografía publicitaria para hoteles y complejos turisticos.

  • http://www.realelixir.com อาหารเสริม

    กระ จุดด่างดำ คืนผิวขาวเนียนนุ่มชุ่มชื้นให้แก่ผิว ด้วยส่วนผสมอันทรงคุณค่าจากธรรมชาติ

  • http://www.classificados.katavendo.com.br Kata-Vendo – Bons ventos para seus neg�cios

    anunciar no katavendo agora ficou mais facil, os anuncios s�o 100% gratuitos e voc� conta com suporte on-line e atendimento por telefone. anuncio, anuncios, anuncie, anunciar, classificado, classificados, classificados gratis, anuncios classificados gratis, imovel, imoveis, autos, automoveis, automovel, veiculos, carros, motos, celulares, video-games, computadores, dominios, cameras digitais, livros, quadinhos, revistas, cds, cd, dvds, DVD, hd, informatica, eletro-eletronicos, eletronicos, audio, video, decoracao, joias, relogios, esportes, lazer, negocios, filmadoras, videos, selos, moedas, ferramentas, antiguidades, raridades, oportunidades, promocoes, empregos, curriculos, servicos, artigos esportivos, empresas, produtos, vestuario, revistas, Sao Paulo, sp, Rio de Janeiro, rj, parana, pr, classificados, katavendo, kata-vendo, catavendo, cata-vendo, an�ncios, gr�tis, gratuitos, gratuitamente, empregos, oportunidades, comprar, vender.

  • http://c-35.com Canon Black Friday

    Thank You FYI.

  • http://www.anunciogratis.katavendo.com.br/ An�ncios Gr�tis, An�ncios Classificados – Kata-Vendo

    Anuncie no Katavendo e usufrua DE TODOS OS BENEFICIOS OFERECIDOS, NO KATAVENDO voce encontra: anuncio, anuncios, anuncie, anunciar, classificado, classificados, classificados gratis, anuncios classificados gratis, imovel, imoveis, autos, automoveis, automovel, veiculos, carros, motos, celulares, video-games, computadores, dominios, cameras digitais, livros, quadinhos, revistas, cds, cd, dvds, DVD, hd, informatica, eletro-eletronicos, eletronicos, audio, video, decoracao, joias, relogios, esportes, lazer, negocios, filmadoras, videos, selos, moedas, ferramentas, antiguidades, raridades, oportunidades, promocoes, empregos, curriculos, servicos, artigos esportivos, empresas, produtos, vestuario, revistas, Sao Paulo, sp, Rio de Janeiro, rj, parana, pr, classificados, katavendo, kata-vendo, catavendo, cata-vendo, an�ncios, gr�tis, gratuitos, gratuitamente, empregos, oportunidades, comprar, vender.

  • http://solusina.com/ toko jasa

    wow… is cool….

  • http://amritsartemples.in Abhinav Duggal

    Amritsar Temple Pictures,Golden Temple Amritsar Pictures,Harmandir Sahib Amritsar,Swarn Mandir,Darbar Sahib Amritsar, Durgiana Mandir Amritsar,Bada Hanuman Mandir Amritsar,Holy City Amritsar, City Amritsar Pictures, Famous Amritsar Places,Shivala Bagh Bhayian Mandir,Badra Kali Mata Mandir,Chintpurni Mata Mandir,Ram Talai Mandir,Ram Tirath,Model Town,Mata Lal Devi Mandir,Sheeda Sahib,Vaishno Devi Mata Bhawan Pictures,Radha Sawami Baba Ji Pictures,Veer Bhan Shivala,Gurdwara Chheharta Sahib,Sankat Mochan Hanuman Mandir,Gurdwara San Sahib,Banke Bihari Mandir,Gurdwara Goindwal Sahib,Baba Budha Sahib,Bohli Sahib, Itihasik Temples Pictures Download,Baba Bhoot Nath Maha Kaleshwar Mandir

  • http://travel-trips.cu.cc/ Travel Trips

    Travel Trips has been succesfully catering to travellers across the globe with its well established and secured Global Hotel Reservation System. Our 24X7 customer care support is there all along to help people with their hotel reservations, cancellations and other related issues. Featured are some interesting testimonials from our valued customers vouching for the credibility of Travel Trips.

  • http://www.realelixir.com กลูต้าไธโอน

    สารสกัดจากธรรมชาติต่างๆ ที่นำมาเป็นอาหารเสริมเช่น กลูต้าไธโอน,แอลคาร์นิทีน, น้ำมันรำข้าว, กรดอะมิโนต่างๆ และอื่นๆ นั้นมีประโยชน์ต่อร่างกายของเราอย่างไรบ้าง

  • http://www.abdominalmuscle.org Abdominal muscle

    I think this is all politics

  • http://awesomerecipes.net awesome recipes

    One of the informative article I have ever seen. Thanks for the update.

  • http://removingtattoosnaturally.com Removing Tattoos Naturally

    Your business sounds very interesting. It is great to have businesses that can contribute to so much to our society these days.

  • http://www.replicaknockoffhandbags.com LiJack

    thanks admin for sharing this cool thing with us.grsetg

  • garments, exporter, hongkong

    ching chang limited

  • washington dc tour

    Wish more people would write great blogs like this.

  • http://www.rk34.com Jammer

    Hay very nice blog , keep it up buddy

  • http://www.rollup-awnings.com roll up awnings

    Hey this is awesome blogs. Keep posted usefull information. Thank you

  • sweets

    A Massive Thank you so much, I thought that your article was

  • http://www.1001obiavi.com Безплатни обяви

    Безплатни обяви в Facebook, сайт за обяви вестник за обяви добави обяви, София, Пловдив, Варна.

  • http://illslickfc.blogspot.com illslick

    Thanks for this post. It is very useful. I hope you will write an article. This issue again.

  • http://hochzeitsreportage.tv Carsten

    An Ihrem wichtigsten und wunderschönsten Tag begleiten wir Sie als Videografen Team und produzieren ein hochwertiges Hochzeitsvideo

  • http://www.temple-jewellery.com/ Temple Jewellery

    This piece of information is a gem for me, very helpful, really a great piece of writing, thanks for the effort made, really impressed.

  • http://www.1tradezone.my Malaysia’s Online Marketplace

    The free online marketplace which allows the small business and individual seller to reach their buyers over the internet, finally releases the service for the public to use.

  • whirlpool washers

    Hi ….. I have information about Whirlpool washers, you should read them and get tips and tricks commersial business with Whirlpool washers.

  • http://www.stopitnow.gr ηλεκτρονικο τσιγαρο

    ηλεκτρονικο τσιγαρο

  • http://gunlukkiralikev.com.tr günlük kiralık

    Aylık kiralık daire fırsatlarımızı takip ediniz, beş yıldızlı otel konforunda, SPA, türk hamamı, açık ve kapalı havuz farklılığına 95 TL ye sahip olunuz

  • http://www.goadvertisetomillions.com advertise to millions

    Im so happy, now that I found your website, your contend is very informative and educational. I will always come back for

  • http://watchanymovieonline.com Watch Any Movie Online

    Your business sounds very interesting. It is great to have businesses that can contribute to so much to our society these days.

  • http://www.stopitnow.gr hlektroniko tsigaro

    Very nice site.Thanks

  • http://www.stopitnow.gr ηλεκτρονικο τσιγαρο

    Thanks for usefull site

  • http://furnituregardenteak.com garden furniture

    I get a lot of useful information in your blog, and of course I hope I can continue to enjoy the articles are informative

  • Anbaa

    Anyone know where to get YMCK merchandise?